The ancient art of tongue scraping might be just the health practice to take up this New Year. Although its name may not sound appealing, this re-emerging trend is the newest way to keep your mouth clean and happy.
Tongue scrapers have been around for centuries. This routine has long been an integral part of bodily hygiene practices that originate from India’s ancient Ayurvedic system of medicine.
It is claimed that tongue scraping can clean your mouth by removing toxic build-up, keeping breath fresh and preventing the accumulation of food debris, fungi and dead cells.
While tongue scrapers – the implements themselves – can vary in appearance from shaped metal hoops to triangles on long plastic handles, their function is essentially the same. They work by removing the upper layer of film that accumulates over time on the tongue.
In Ayurvedic medicine the tongue is looked at as one of the body’s channels of elimination. The way your tongue appears is a good indication of overall internal health. This layer over the tongue is known as ama, a toxic residue that results from incomplete digestion. The worse your digestion, the thicker this ama will be: and clearing it away is vital to maintaining good health.
“Tongue cleaning seems like a new concept in the western world,” explains Dr Justin Claire. “But tongue cleaning is of great importance even in modern times. It significantly reduces the bacterial load and food debris in the oral cavity. Removing this may help with halitosis, gum disease and cavities.”
In addition, decaying bacteria on the back of the tongue produce something called volatile sulphuric compounds. These molecules account for between 80 and 95 per cent of all cases of bad breath.
To keep your breath fresh, Dr Claire recommends incorporating tongue scraping into a normal daily oral hygiene routine, along with brushing and flossing.
If you don’t have a tongue scraper, the tongue can be scraped gently with a piece of dental floss.
Despite this, your mouth is full of bacteria and is supposed to be. Tongue scraping won’t make your mouth antiseptic, but it will remove the build-up of food debris and dead cells and significantly improve your oral health.
Call us here at Dental Care Partnership on 0121 354 1922 to book an appointment with one of our friendly team.